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 In Techniques

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The ‘flat-board-first’ method enables you to veneer a curved part with any pattern you want.

Boldness with balance—that’s how I see the front apron of a classic Federal card table. I love the way it curves, adding drama to those vibrant veneers and bandings. For a woodworker, building up those patterns on a flat piece of wood is difficult enough, but how do you do it on a curved one?

That’s the question I struggled with trying to figure out how to teach a class on building this table. Traditionally, veneers, inlay and banding would have been directly applied to the curved apron, one piece at a time. Experience tells me that this method is too
difficult and exacting for many students to master during one class. My alternative: Perform all the intricate veneering on a flat piece of wood first, then resaw the board and glue the new, thicker piece of veneer, pattern and all, directly onto the curved apron.

Experimenting with this “flat-board-first” technique, I found that it worked perfectly.


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